By Dan Wiersema / Founder, Free Beer Movement
If you asked the FBM what to drink following last Friday's loss to Jamaica, we would've said.... "everything.... drink all the beers" because that seemed like a sensible solution to that unmitigated disaster.
With a few sobering (literally) days between our second clash with the Caribbean nation we've come to a couple of conclusions:
1) Red Stripe.... never again. Sorry, but you're on the no-fly list like Costa Rica's "Imperial". You beat us in CONCACAF qualifying and you're out. Note, of course, by limiting the list to North and Central America we only have to eliminate crappy light lagers from consumption and not have to deal with the hard truths of cutting of, say, Germany, since 2002.
2) Speaking of Germany, though, we're going need a break. Jurgen Klinsmann's tactics have been baffling enough and until he rights the ship (and/or dumps Jose Torres) we're not touching his native country's delicious beers. And that's saying a lot since Oktoberfest is right around the corner. Luckily there's plenty of awesome American craft breweries doing the style right, which is something we'll address in this space during next month's qualifiers.
Our Game Day Beer Recommendation:
Even though this beer is only available for those making the trek to Columbus, Ohio for the match, there's a lot of symbolism in this brew for USMNT fans. A light blonde, rare German-style whose contents (or tactics) are all over the place? The outlook is hazy, but a significant departure from the blunter approach of other styles. Sound a little like JK?
Actually we're describing a keller bier. Kellers are a rare style of German bier; light blonde in color with an alcohol content that's varies quite a bit (often because of the maturing of the beer which happens in un-bunged kegs and in deep vaults) for a style, from 4% to 7%. While the beer itself appears quite cloudy, most would agree that keller biers are a refreshing change of pace from the hop bombs of the pale ale and IPA styles of beer or the fruitiness of many other summer beers.
Columbus' version is even award-winning capturing the bronze medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. Third place... where have we heard a German finishing third before?
If the United States is going to survive this round of World Cup qualifying and the hexagonal, Klinsmann's boys are going to have to find their "summer teeth" again and get "nasty" as the coach called for earlier in the year. The same team that dispatched Italy (although that was more in the early spring than summer) and Mexico, showed glimmers of promise against Brazil and throttled Scotland.
Time to dig deep and show those teeth.
Extra Time Beer:
Columbus is also the stomping grounds of former USMNT defender (and future FBM Spokeperson) Frankie Hejduk. Hejduk, who featured for the Nats from 1996 to 2009 including two World Cups (he suffered a ACL injury before the 2006 tournament), won the 2008 MLS Cup with the Crew and is now the club's "brand ambassador".
Frankie's favorite beer is Guinness so if you're in any corner of America and in almost any bar remember, if it's good enough for Hejduk it should be good enough for the rest of us.
Unless you're a hipster, you want to see soccer grow in America and what better way than the Free Beer Movement. Check it out and practice it.